I first learned about Día de los niños or The Day of the child when I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the private school where I taught English, it was celebrated every April 30th. On this special day, they allowed students to show up to school in their pajamas. The last hour of school was devoted to a talent show where students sang, performed folkloric dances, recited poetry, and feasted on fruity paletas! It was a total blast!
Día de los niños is an annual celebration in Mexico that originated originated in 1925 as a result of the first “World Conference for the Well-being of Children” held in Geneva, Switzerland. At that time, various countries, including Mexico, selected days to recognize the importance of children and their welfare. The Mexican version, called Día Del Niño, is celebrated every year on April 30, and aims to highlight the significance of children to society.
Is Día de los niños celebrated in the United States?
Not everywhere yet…but it’s slowly catching on at schools and libraries due to the efforts of Pat Mora, a renowned literary advocate and award-winning author. In 1997, Mora started promoting this Mexican tradition in the US and began to couple it with Día de Los Libros, a celebration of books and reading. Mora’s vision was to connect the Day of the Children with literacy and instill a love of reading and learning in children, which goes hand in hand with their well-being.
What other countries celebrate Día de los niños?
Besides Mexico and parts of the United States (it’s big time in Texas and California!), other Latin American countries like Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica also celebrate it although they may celebrate it on a different dates that makes cultural and historical sense for them.
What does Day of the child mean to me?
I love that the celebration of “Día” is growing in the United States and that it has come to include a variety of festivities like book readings, festivals, and children’s days at the museum, and, of course, treats and gifts for children. YES!!!
It’s my deepest hope that Día de los niños continues to expand throughout the United States because I believe that children deserve a day devoted to them and their well being. After all, we celebrate moms, dads and even pups! Why not children? As Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future…” but let’s not wait to celebrate them in the future, shall we? Let’s celebrate them this April 30th.
How will you celebrate Día de los niños?
If you don’t already observe Día de los niños, you can start with some simple actions at school or at home:
- At home, buy your child a book and read it with them or take them to the library for a special treat of soaking up books. 🙂
- Host an author visit at your school to talk about books and the power of reading.
- Designate free reading time at school and invite students to dress up like their favorite literary character on this day.
- Sponsor a book giveaway! Buy books and allow students to choose a book they want.
Other countries that celebrate Día de los niños
Learn more about Día de los niños with these helpful links: